The Price is right again, 80-65, but Lutheran could get another shot in the 3AA playoffs

By John Honell, Correspondent
The California Elite Showcase lived up to its name, matching a pair of 2010 state champions in the feature game of the day-long extravaganza at the University of La Verne.
Price High School, the 2010 Division IV CIF State champion, faced off against La Verne Lutheran, the Division V champion, in front of a packed house Saturday night. The Knights’ twin towers, Norvelle Pelle and Skylar Spencer, took control of the boards in the second half as Price pulled away for an 80-65 victory over the Trojans. (To continue click thread)

“We tried to bring a playoff atmosphere to this event,” Trojans coach Eric Cooper said. “We felt bringing this type of team would help us to fight or to learn from getting beat. Now we go back to the drawing board and start over hoping it will spark us to take it to another level.”

The 6-foot-9 Pelle, who has signed with St. John’s University, and Spencer, a 6-8 junior, were able to shut down the Trojans’ big man, Grant Jerrett, in the second half. Jerrett had 11 of his 15 points in the first half.

“The first half was pretty good,” Jerrett said. “Then they adjusted and swarmed a little bit. There were long arms coming around and I couldn’t see.”

There were three ties and eight lead changes in the first quarter with the Knights taking a 17-16 lead when Colorado-bound Askia Booker hit a shot at the buzzer.

“Booker played like a Pac-10 guard,” Cooper said. “He did a great job running their team.”

There were five more lead changes in the second quarter with the Trojans taking their final lead, 26-24, with 4:11 left in the half.

Chance Murray hit a 3-pointer for the Knights to spark a 10-0 run that ended with an alley-oop dunk by Pelle on a pass from Booker.

Bruce English hit a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in the half to stop the bleeding. English led the Trojans with 19 points.

“We kept attacking and that didn’t work,” English said. “We should have pulled it back out and run a few plays for Grant, but we didn’t do that. It was just one of those things. You have good defensive nights, you have great defensive nights and then you have atrocious defensive nights. Tonight was just an atrocious defensive night.”

The Trojans committed 20 turnovers, giving the Knights easy baskets that proved to be the difference in the game.

“Bruce got it going,” Cooper said. “He got in a rhythm and that was good but we just couldn’t get any stops. We had 20 turnovers and they got 21 points off of them. If we take care of that, we win even though we had a bad night.”

The game could be a precursor to the playoffs. Both teams have been moved up to CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA, where Price is ranked No. 1.

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  • Lut Fan

    Lutheran Fan said: The Trojan family want to thank Fred and his crew for all of the support on our 1st (very successful showcase)we had over 25 press and media credentials given out ,all the teams played hard for their fans, to a pack house ,to the Lutheran boys congrats for the hard effort that they gave, special kudos to Bruce English for that acrobatic ally hoop dunk behind the glass.Could be the best dunk in the area this season, also thanks to all the parents and volunteers for all their efforts for making this such a great success and finally a great big thanks to coach Coop for his vision to bring high school basketball to the highest level to the San Gabriel Valley! Go Trojans!

  • Couldn’t agree more

    From the 2:00 PM game between Ayala and Diamond Ranch through the last game between powerhouse Lincoln of San Diego and undermanned, but determined Sacramento minus Josiah Turner, the games were very fun to watch, competitive for the most part and exciting. The San Diego Hoover vs. Corona Roosevelt game went to OT was a big surprise to this HS basketball fan. Price is for real with their depth, size, length and athleticism. Pelle and Booker are the real deal for sure and Spencer has huge upside and will be a monster this time next year.

    The food was great, the hospitality super and the atmosphere electric. I only wish this event and the showcase at APU were on different days so I could have had 2 days full of great HS basketball.

    Great job everyone.

  • just askin’

    If I’m not mistaken – the APU event has been on that weekend for years Why didn’t LVL just choose a different weekend?

  • Eye on the Ball

    this was one of the most exciting games ive seen all year. 2 well coached teams. both teams played their a#$@@ off. as of now, price is just better. as much as price matches up well with lut, especially at the guard, lut has has a difficult time matching up with price. price did a real nice job exploiting the miss match down low, as in, whomever jarrett wasnt guarding. pelle was almost decoy in half court sets. they kept him high and wide to create more space for the other big. the guard play was electric on both sides. i give price a slight edge. 3 was a nice spark off the bench on both sides of the court. lut did commit 20 or so tos, but price pressure did force some of those. pelle was a joy to watch in the open court and filling lanes. im curious to see what kind of adjustments lut makes if things hold true in march. i would have paid 10 for this game alone, and i probably will have to come march. and a tip of the cap to the sharpest dressed staff(price) ive seen all year. lol. great job by lut for putting a nice day of basketball. good luck to both teams the rest of the way.

  • Let me ask you this

    How spectacular were the dunks by Pelle, Spencer and English in the Price vs. Lutheran game? And what about Stormin Norman Powell of Lincoln and that crew throwin down some pretty nasty dunks. For my money, the English alley oop catch from behind the glass monster throw down was the best followed closely by the half a dozen or so Pelle alley oops.

    Independant opinion by two former pro basketball players was that Bruce’s dunk was the best in game dunk ever!